Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Let it Snow - Somewhere Else

I hate snow. Oh, sure, call me a killjoy. Call me unfestive. But today, after slogging through horizontal snow with two heavy bags of trash only to find my trash cans frozen shut, I just wasn't feeling the holiday spirit.

I'm a winter sissy, I admit it. I've spent nine winters in Chicago so far, and I'm still not used to the cold. I grew up in Texas, ya'll. My idea of winter is when you can drink a frozen margarita on the porch without it melting in five minutes.

But then I moved to the midwest, and that all changed.

I think I did this to myself. I spent every Christmas growing up in the very warm Dallas suburbs wishing for snow. Growing up, there were only two Christmases we actually did get snow, and one of those was technically an ice storm. The other one, we got half an inch of snow, and I had to gently gather it up from all corners of my yard to make a snowman the size of a lawn gnome. As far as winter wonderlands went, it was pretty lame.

The funny thing about snow in Texas is that if there was even the sighting of a single snowflake, the entire state would shut down for a week. No need to venture out if there was a couple of snowflakes on the ground.

Actually, this was pretty smart. Nobody in Texas knows how to drive on snowy roads, so it's really better for everybody concerned that they stay home. There was an ice storm once during the five years I lived in Austin. I lived on top of a hill, and I walked out of my apartment, only to see ten cars in a row skid down the icy hill and crash into the pile up of cars at the bottom intersection. Seriously - they went off, one after another, like lemmings off a cliff. You could just hear their inner thoughts "Oh, it only looks slippery, but the brakes on MY truck will work better. I'm sure it ain't that bad," then oops! and BAM!

I'd personally have liked to hear driver nine in that particular car pile-up try to explain to his insurance adjuster just why he decided he'd take on that ice hill when eight cars before him had clearly failed.

Sad. Just sad.

Almost as sad as the outdoor mall near my house. Really? Whose brainchild was this? Let's build an OUTDOOR mall in Chicago - where tomorrow it is supposed to be five degrees. That'll get 'em out and shopping!

After nine years in Chicago, I have had my share of snow, sleet and ice. My inner-ten-year-old ought to love this, but my enthusiasm is dampened by the fact that my husband rarely ever shovels. He grew up in New Hampshire, and therefore has had plenty of experience both shoveling snow and thinking up good excuses not to ("I'm late for the train!" "I pulled a muscle!" "I just took a shower!" "Right now?! But, I was just about to eat this peanut butter sandwich!").

My girls, on the other hand, love the snow. They are very excited about the prospect of playing in it (not so excited about the idea of putting on the snowsuits). Still, I am pretty sure the guy who wrote that song "Let it Snow" didn't live in Chicago with two small children. Otherwise, he'd be singing "Please let it be unseasonably warm so we can go to the park and get out of this !@#$% house/prison."

It normally takes a half hour just to get both girls to put on their socks and shoes. Add in hats, mittens, and snow suits, and I might as well start getting them ready for lunch out at six in the morning.

Speaking of - we just might need to go to the store tomorrow. Maybe I ought to try to get them in their snowsuits now...